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worried about going to GP

glynis87glynis87 Posts: 12
I have had problems with my back for over 6 years now and now have pain in all joints except ankles and elbows. This is starting to impact on my work situation and I am having to go to occupational health for assessment. My Gp's response has, mainly, been to give and increase painkillers, to the point where I am now prescribed 2 paracetamol 4 times a day and 60mg codeine up to 4 times a day. At its worst this has no effect at all on the pain. THis came to a head last week at work and I have made another appoinmtnet with the doctor for Monday. The problem is that I am scared to go in case he doesn't take me seriously. I have tried writing down how I feel but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I have good days and bad days and when its a good day then most people would think there was nothing wrong with me. On bad days I struggle to get out of bed and walk really badly etc etc. I wondered if you had any advice, other than writing things down, that might help me at the doctors? I have been told there are pain management clinics, although I have never been referred to one, or to a specialist of any sort. The doctors approach seems to be increase painkillers and learn to live with it. How can I get him to do something to help without it seeming like I am being awkward, neurotic or just a hypochondriac. I know I'm not being those things, and my work colleagues say I should go as they have seen me on bad days - but I am so scared of being dismissed again and not being able to stand up for myself.

Thank you


  • elnafinnelnafinn Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Glynis

    I am a forum member.

    I am sorry that you are not getting the help you wish for from your Gp. You are not alone with this. I take it you have been diagnosed with Osteo arthritis. GPs' usually dish out the meds for patients with OA and when it is thought that ops may be the way forward you are or should be referred to a consultant. You could be referred to a pain clinic and you could also be referred to a physio. Have these options been suggested to you or is the gp content only to give you meds and show you the door? If he has not suggested anything else, you must ask him to refer you. If you do not ask you will not get if this is the gp's attitude. If you go knowing what could be available to you, he may well back down and refer you. If not, ask him why not.

    I am afraid that you have to keep returning to your gp and make a nuisance of yourself, because if you do not let the gp know how you feel, unfortunately in this day and age, they will not call you and assume you are coping ok. Somehow or other it has to be drummed into your gp that the meds are not allowing you to cope with your life.

    Is it possible for you to go with someone who sees you on good, bad and damn awful days? They may be able to speak up for you and sometimes the gp seems to listen more if you are accompanied, goodness knows why that happens but it does.

    You have to try to remember that you keep your gp in a job so please do not think you are wasting his time - you are not. If the gp does not suffer with arthritis and does not know anyone in his close circle of family and friends he will not have much idea how it can impact on your life.

    Be brave, go and see your gp and tell him how it is. I wish you well.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,066
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Glynis

    Thanks for your posting.

    I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you are currently experiencing.

    Writing questions down for when you see the doctor next is a good idea , as well as taking someone with you for support (if possible). If you still get the same results with a change of medication, you can ask your doctor for a referral to a pain clinic (though this may take a few months before you are seen) and physiotherapy (if you havent already been).

    For more information on fibromyalgia and different medications see our factsheet at http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Factsheets#cK45 and our booklet on Coping with pain at .http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Booklets.

    I hope that helps.

    I would encourage you to ring our helplines on 0808 8004050 to have a chat, or if you need more information.


    Helplines Team
  • valvalvalval Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    i hope you do not mind me posting am not part of help team .
    but you must tell your doc what it like on bad day, i know many of us do not do this and gp does not get full picture. have you had blood tests to rule out arther inflimation etc .
    if your doc does not give you more suport see a different gp if you can have you had hospital app. with rhummy good luck hope all goes well val
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